Encore Boston Harbor Faces Discrimination Lawsuit from Former Employee

A former female employee of the Encore Boston Harbor casino in Massachusetts has filed a lawsuit against the venue due to alleged discrimination. The employee says she was not accommodated during her pregnancy according to state laws and was let go because of her condition.

Filing a Claim

Wynn Resorts is in a bit of hot water after former employee Ana Garcia-Risk filed a lawsuit against the company. She claims that she was discriminated against as an employee due to pregnancy. She was having certain difficulties due to the pregnancy and asked for changes in her job duties. She was denied the changes and eventually terminated.

Part of her requests included asking to wear comfortable shoes because the required high heels of her position were difficult to wear while pregnant. Garcia-Risk worked at the front desk of the property. She was not allowed to change her footwear.

This seems like a simple request, especially since women’s feet tend to swell. The employee also asked to be allowed to work a later shift due to morning sickness. Garcia-Risk was waking up and having difficulty with nausea and vomiting. Her employer did not accommodate this request.

In the suit, the plaintiff says that she was given negative points in her file due to absences and when she was late. Every time, it was due to morning sickness. She thought if she could change her schedule, then she would not be late or absent due to sickness. However, the employee apparently did not see the need to switch up the schedule.

As part of the claim, Garcia-Risk is seeking lost wages and emotional distress damages. She would also like to see her attorneys’ fees paid along with interest. This amount would be more than $50,000. The suit claims that the plaintiff suffered from morning sickness as well as extreme fatigue while on the job and pregnant. She also had vomiting issues and loss of appetite.

Wynn Resorts and Brady Murray, the assistant front office manager for the casino, are named as defendants in the case. The lawsuit states that the defendants discriminated against the plaintiff due to her gender and condition of being pregnant.

Pregnancy Discrimination Against Women

Females are often faced with pregnancy discrimination due to how they feel or act while pregnant. Many women want to work but have issues with dress code, standing on their feet all day, short breaks, or other problems. In Massachusetts, the law covers pregnancy and discrimination in the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act.

In this Act, employers are prohibited from discriminating against anyone due to pregnancy or conditions connected to pregnancy. Employers must treat everyone the same. They have an obligation to accommodate pregnant women as well.

Based on the law, it seems that Wynn Resorts, particularly the manager of the Encore, should have recognized the pregnancy conditions that Garcia-Risk was facing and accommodate her. She was not asking for many changes, but simply wanted to wear different shoes and work a different shift. It will be interesting to see how the law applies in this case and what repercussions if any, that the casino and its parent company face on the matter.

Rebecca Kont
Rebecca Kont

Rebecca lives in Las Vegas and after completing her degree at Reynolds Journalism school joined the USGS team to pursue her journalism dreams.